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Should The Orioles Sign Free-Agent Outfielder Jarrod Dyson?

January 22, 2018
Throughout the offseason, we've been looking at some prospective free agents the Orioles may be interested in. Most have been starting pitchers, but according to a report by MASNsports.com, the Orioles have been showing interest recently in outfielder Jarrod Dyson.
 
Jarrod Dyson
 
Vital stats: Dyson is a 33-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder. After playing with the Kansas City Royals from 2010-2016, Dyson hit .251 in 111 games for the Seattle Mariners last season. He has a .258 lifetime average with just 12 home runs, but he has 204 stolen bases in eight major league seasons.
 
Orioles connection: Dyson was part of the pesky Royals club that swept the Orioles during the 2014 American League Championship Series.
 
Where would he fit? The Orioles have been looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder, and Dyson's ability to get on base is a plus. Last year, he had a .324 on-base percentage, which was higher than the .312 OBP the Orioles had as a team.
 
Why wouldn't he fit? The Orioles haven't had a player with Dyson's skill set in the outfield since Nate McLouth, another left-handed hitter. McLouth was the last Oriole to steal 30 bases, which he did in 2013. Dyson stole 28 last season. The Orioles had just 32 stolen bases in 2017.
 
Scouting report: "He can help the O's with his ability to play all three outfield spots, plus he can be disruptive on the bases. It's a contact light bat, not a bat you want in your lineup every day. Brings some energy to your team."
 
Dyson would provide a nice contrast to the power-first players the team already has in its lineup. He's batted leadoff occasionally during his major league career, and could do that with the Orioles.
 
Last year, another left-handed hitting outfielder, Seth Smith often led off until the Orioles acquired shortstop Tim Beckham in late July. Beckham probably isn't an ideal leadoff man because he doesn't draw many walks.
 
Though manager Buck Showalter isn't generally a fan of the stolen base because he thinks it's a low-percentage move, Dyson has a lifetime success rate of nearly 85 percent (204-for-241).
 
Last year, the Orioles had six players with more than 100 strikeouts (first baseman Chris Davis, designated hitter Mark Trumbo, second baseman Jonathan Schoop, left fielder Trey Mancini, third baseman Manny Machado and center fielder Adam Jones). Dyson had 55.
 
Showalter is always looking for a player who can spell Jones in center field. Dyson would be a step up from Joey Rickard, who isn't a lock to start the season with the club.
 
With Davis the only left-handed hitter certain to make the 2018 Orioles, Dyson could help even out the lineup. Showalter also values players who can play multiple positions.
 
The Orioles have also shown some interest in another left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield spots, Jon Jay. But Dyson has more speed and a lower price tag.
 
They've also been interested in left-handed hitting Carlos Gonzalez, and while he could provide power, he has no speed, strikes out often and would be more expensive than Dyson.

Follow Rich on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB 

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox